6 lighting hacks for healthier,more productive workplaces
It’s summer and there’s light all around us — we take it for granted until those dark winter months come along. The sheer lack of sun can be depressing. Every year we experience this longing for summer,craving those long,bright days once we feel energetic and in a good mood. The good thing is,we’ve again passed the longest day of 2015,but the good news is that the right artificial lighting in your workplace can help you through. Very good lighting creates pleasant working conditions in a functional and atmospheric way. Satisfaction and efficiency will improve if you make sure you have enough daylight ingestion and a well-lit office area. Artificial lighting that doesn’t just help you see,but also meets your biological lighting requirements,is the future of office lighting. Here are six lighting hacks to keep you healthy and awake through these dark winter days.
|Best Office Lighting|
1 Create atmospheres where your ideas can develop
We are all attracted to light,and there isn’t any other medium that’s as big an influence on our bodies and minds as mild. Both daylight and artificial light play an integral role in our health and wellbeing. Increasingly,companies face the question of how they could improve staff wellbeing and generate a dynamic,creative and motivating environment. The research shows that in businesses with a high standard of interior design,productivity can increase by up to 36 per cent. Who would not like to see their efficiency skyrocket? Additionally,comprehensive research from the Light Right Consortium,arrived at the conclusion that light raises productivity. Only around 70 per cent of the interviewees stated that working at workstations with purely downward lighting was comfy. In comparison,91 per cent found that a lighting atmosphere with direct/indirect lighting and a high quantity of vertical lit surfaces pleasing. Moreover,if the desk lighting is individually controllable,people feel motivated and operate with greater precision. TIP: Create a lighting atmosphere with indirect and direct lighting. Avoid having only downwards-directed illumination.
|modern desk lamp|
Two Light for people,not just jobs
Lighting is often just seen as a necessity to enable us to see,but in fact it has many more qualities than the obvious ones. We should move away from just thinking of lighting for jobs and focus on creating light settings for people. Today,most men and women work indoors,and spends nearly the whole day indoors,in an unnaturally dark atmosphere. Our light intake is responsible for feeling and sleeping well,and affects our productivity. When there is a lack of natural light to help us tell the time of day,then our circadian rhythm (body clock) loses its pace,with fatigue and listlessness as a result. It’s a lot more than just lighting. It inspires,attracts,enables communication,sets a mood,and has emotional qualities. When this knowledge transcends to our built environment,pleasant atmospheres are made. Think of a trip to a theater,a restaurant,or nightclub. These experiences are formed by light. Very good lighting accentuates the mood and desirability of spaces,consequently leading to people’s sense of health. Every building and space expresses and communicates an identity,and sometimes also a corporate value. Superior lighting should be a part of this,because what other component can enhance an atmosphere as much as lighting can? TIP: Create a Combination of different lighting. Use illumination that affirms a space’s individuality
3 From homo sapiens to homo officunus
In today’s world,we spend many hours working in biotopes — environment made by humans. Instead of trying to adapt ourselves to our own creations,we should adapt these biotopes to our own requirements. Adequate light is one of these needs. So how can you make a setting that increases your satisfaction and productivity? Here are a few guidelines: Take the biological quality of lighting into consideration. Light synchronises the circadian rhythm. It influences our sleep-wake cycle and this has a big influence on our health and productivity. Adapt the lighting to the daytime and season,as well as to the individual needs of the consumer. Vertical surface lighting,preferably on large wall surfaces,is crucial to create a sense of space and depth. It also gives a visual resting stage for the eyes and adds a pleasant atmosphere to the working environment. Too often,office surroundings are insufficiently lit,not only from the perspective of biological lighting needs but also from an architectural one,where the space feels smaller due to inadequate lighting. The chart below demonstrates how office workers analyzed their working environments — showing which aspects are important to them and how satisfied they are with every facet. As you can see,lighting is rated the most important of all of the aspects mentioned,but there’s loads of space for it to improve. TIP: Have a light for general lighting,a standing luminaire which uplights the ceiling and a desk light
4 Get the best place in the house
Are you based in a co-working space? Choosing the right place in the house can go a long way. Select a place with a lot of daylight. It’s recommended that around three per cent daylight reaches a individual’s working area. However,in the majority of offices this is not the case. Daylight provides an emotional quality to a space and the option to look out is an added bonus. If you can,choose a spot near the window. But make sure there is sun shading to prevent harsh reflections on your computer screen.
5 Light against the blues
About 80 per cent of allinformation is taken in through our eyes. Unlike sticks and cones,these cells don’t contribute directly to our sight; they are nevertheless light dependent and help to modulate our circadian rhythm. So light is not just a prerequisite for seeing,but is also an important zeitgeber (timer) and a regulator for our own bodies. Unfortunately,we often don’t get the light intake we actually need,especially during the darker period of the year,leading to the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a type of depression associated with a lack of light. It leaves people feeling moody and lacking energy. In a workplace setting,light therapy makes people feel more awake and energized. It’s found that an illumination which goes up to 2000 lux in the working place in the morning and the day,reduces the physiological reaction of anxiety and provides an energising effect to the body. In comparison,most working areas are lit to a standard 500 lux. If you want to check the amount of lux at your desk,then download a lux meter app. It’s not very exact,but it gives you an idea on how little light we actually have indoors. Not only is a higher quantity of lighting needed,but also the color temperature of the lighting plays a role. The artificial lighting should correspond to the color temperature of the daylight. At noon the sky’s colour is a really cool 10000K but at sunset it is a much warmer 2000K. Additionally lighting should reflect indirectly into the eyes from large surfaces,such as walls and ceilings. TIP: Try to grab enough daylight at any time of the year. Go outside for a break,get off a stop earlier from the subway and walk the rest of the way to the office.
A deadline and stilla lot of work ahead,no time to sleep! As lighting can disrupt your sleeping pattern,it may also boost your activity. In case you’ve followed the above-mentioned advice for mutually successful illumination than you are already on the right path. If you need to pull an all-nighter,increase the light intensity and also the quantity of bluish white light in the room. Almost done with your job? Change the atmosphere to warm,low-intensity lighting,which will calm you down. You may also have experienced that if you work late on a computer or tablet it is tough to sleep afterwards. The reason for this is the high blue content of the backlit screens. So use this lighting hack consciously. There are a number of applications you can install that correlate the display’s brightness and color,to the daylight of where you are. F.lux,by way of instance,works on many systems,or the Twilight app reduces the amount of blue lighting on your Android phone. TIP: Have different lamp types and color temperatures in your working area. Warm light sources in your desk could be combined with general and indirect lighting with different color temperatures,for example 3500K and 5000K.